Majungasaurus Dinosaur Facts

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Dinosaur Jungle   >   Dinosaur Names   >   Majungasaurus
Dinosaur Jungle   >   Dinosaur Types   >   Majungasaurus



dinosaur picture majungasaurus

Scientific Classification
  Kingdom Animalia
  Phylum Chordata
  Class Sauropsida
  Superorder Dinosauria
  Order Saurischia
  Suborder Theropoda
  Family Abelisauridae
  Genus Majungasaurus
Majungasaurus was a carnivore (meat-eater) that lived in Madagascar during the late Cretaceous period, between about 70 and 65 million years ago. It was one of the last dinosaurs, and probably became extinct during the the Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction.

Majungasaurus was a large predator which walked on its two hind legs. It probably was about 20 to 23 feet (6 to 7 meters) long, and weighed over 1 ton. It had short arms, and a wide skull with with a short snout caped by a single rounded horn.

The only known herbivores at the time in the region were Sauropods such as Rapetosaurus, and it is therefore thought that Majungasaurus must have feed on them. Scientists have suggested that Majungasaurus was adapted to feed on on Sauropods (which would have been very powerful animals). Its skull, jaw and teeth suggest that it would have attacked its prey using a bite and hold attack (similar to the hunting strategy of modern cats), rather than the strategy probably used by most other Theropods of taking many bites (similar to the strategy used by modern dogs and wolves). Additional evidence that may support this theory is that Majungasaurus, as compared to most Theropods, had relatively short and stocky legs, and a low center of gravity.

Majungasaurus is also known to have engaged in cannibalistic behavior (at the time of writing, the only other dinosaur that has also been suspected of cannibalism is Coelophysis, however in the case of Coelophysis, there is some doubt over it was in fact a cannibal). The evidence for Majungasaurus being a cannibal is that fossil bones of the animal (and as well as fossil bones of Sauropods that lived in the region), have been found showing teeth marks made by other Majungasaurus. It is not known however under what circumstances Majungasaurus would have engaged in cannibalism - it may have actively hunted its own kind, or it may simply have scavenged carcasses of other Majungasaurus. One possibility is that if two Majungasaurus fought over a killed prey animal, and one was killed during this fight, then it would have scavenged its rival's remains (this type of behavior is found in some modern animals such as Komodo dragons).


Majungasaurus Timeline:

Majungasaurus was a carnivore (meat-eater) that lived from 70 to 65 million years ago

Majungasaurus was a carnivore (meat-eater) that lived from 70 to 65 million years ago

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Majungasaurus Facts

Here is a summary of some of the key facts about Majungasaurus:
  1. Majungasaurus was a genus of dinosaur.

  2. "Majungasaurus" means "Mahajanga lizard". It is named after the Mahajanga province of Madagascar - the reason the name uses an older spelling of the province's name.

  3. Majungasaurus was a member of the Saurischia ("lizard-hipped") order of dinosaurs. What this means, is that although Majungasaurus was not closely related to lizards, it did have similarly shaped pelvic bones.

  4. Majungasaurus was a Theropod - a member of a group of related bipedal dinosaurs that included the ancestors of birds (although Majungasaurus was not itself an ancestor of birds).

  5. Majungasaurus lived between about 70 million years ago and 65 million years ago, during the late Cretaceous period.

  6. Majungasaurus was one of the dinosaurs which died out during the Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction at the end of the Mesozoic Era.

  7. Majungasaurus lived in Madagascar.

  8. Majungasaurus was a carnivore (meat-eater).

  9. Majungasaurus was about 20 to 23 feet (6 to 7 meters) long.

  10. Majungasaurus weighed over 1 ton.

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